Blackheads vs Whiteheads

(Last Updated On: December 14, 2018)

Skin blemishes can ruin your day, especially those pesky blackheads (comedo) and whiteheads. So knowing how to treat these skin blemishes is of the utmost importance. But what’s the difference between a blackheads vs whiteheads? Many people don’t know.

Read: Best face wash for blackheads

Some people don’t even know that there is such a thing as whiteheads since blackheads are the more famous of the two skin problems.

Read on to find out more about these two unwanted skin residents.

Blackheads vs. Whiteheads

First of all, let’s talk about what blackheads and whiteheads are. To put it most simply, they’re the result of clogged pores.

Dead skin cells and oil will accumulate in the pores of your face and – here’s where one of the differences between blackheads and whiteheads lie – whiteheads remain closed while blackheads open up.

In the case of blackheads (known as comedo), the skin cells and/or oil – whatever is clogging your pores – is then exposed to dirt or whatever else you expose yourself to all day and the pore is covered with a grayish or blackish hue. That gives it the name blackhead.

Whiteheads appear as small, white bumps just on the surface of the skin. Neither blackheads nor whiteheads are inflammatory types of acne.blackhead difference whitehead

Treating Blackheads and Whiteheads

The best way to treat blackheads and whiteheads is to maintain a daily skincare regimen.

For blackheads, exfoliating daily with products that include salicylic acid and using a facial cleansing brush will get your face clear in no time.

For whiteheads, you can do the same thing but also using lotion to help smooth skin is a great procedure to rid yourself of the annoying acne.

The Correct Cleansers

Cleansers with a salicylic acid base helps to open up pores and prevent future blockage. If the blemishes keep occurring, you can also seek out professional help in the form of a dermatologist.

A dermatologist can perform an extraction, which can cure you of your skin problems for the long-term.

Don’t Touch!

Another way to speed up the treatment process or prevent more acne from developing is to keep from touching the area of skin that is giving you problems.

I know it can be tempting! But your hands carry bacteria, dirt, and oils. These things are damaging to the skin and can cause those blackheads and whiteheads you hate so much.

Read: The best face masks for blackheads

Don’t Pop!

People also like to pop pimples or pick out blackheads, and that is one of the worst things you can do.

This can spread the bacteria you just just clumsily extracted onto other areas of your face and cause the production of more blackheads or pimples.

Scratching, popping, and picking at acne can also lead to ugly scars that can become permanent.

Other ways to prevent acne are to keep hair off of your face, wash your face two times a day, wear oil-free makeup, and always wash makeup off before going to bed.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

There are many things said about what causes acne that just aren’t true. It’s up to you to get the facts and know how to separate the facts.

It is commonly said that junk food, or eating unhealthily, causes acne breakouts. This isn’t entirely true.

While diet can’t be entirely ruled out, it is only a small portion of what causes you to experience those dreaded breakouts.

The recommended method when it comes to what you’re eating is to keep a food diary and see if that has any correlation to the times of your breakouts.

Another falsehood is that popping pimples gets rid of them. I spoke on this a little above. Popping the pimple may get rid of it for the moment, but it will more than likely cause bacteria to spread all over your face and just give you more acne to deal with later.

Something else to be careful of is how often you wash your face. A lot of people think washing your face a lot will keep acne at bay, but you should only wash your face two times at most with a mild soap.

Excessively washing or scrubbing your face can irritate your skin, causing redness or scarring. After washing your face only twice, pat your skin dry with a towel.

Some people even buy into the myth that tanning can cure acne. That’s false. Tanning can make your complexion look more healthy, but it can also lead to dry and irritated skin – especially if you tan too much. There is also the risk of skin cancer when you have too much exposure to the sun.

It’s true that using oil-based makeup products, sleeping in makeup, and being generally unhygienic when using makeup can help lead to the clogging of pores. But wearing makeup in a healthy way will not cause acne to develop.

As long as you regularly clean your brushes, be careful of the type of makeup products you use, and clean off your makeup every night before bed, it should help.


Blackheads and whiteheads are common forms of acne that plague us all at some point in our lives. There are ways to treat them and prevent them – the most recommended treatment is to wash your face twice a day with a mild soap.

If nothing else works, you can always seek professional help by going to see a dermatologist in your area.

There are also many myths surrounding acne and how acne is caused. Make sure to research and learn all the facts about your skin.

Find out how things can affect your skin so that you aren’t overwhelmed with misinformation. Blackheads and whiteheads are a problem but a problem that you can treat.

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